In 2017, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €26.8 in the European Union (EU) and €30.3 in the euro area.
However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States:
- Lowest hourly labour costs: Bulgaria (€4.9), Romania (€6.3), Lithuania (€8.0), Latvia (€8.1), Hungary (€9.1) and Poland (€9.4),
- Highest hourly labour costs: Denmark (€42.5), Belgium (€39.6), Luxembourg (€37.6), Sweden (€36.6) and France (€36.0).
Hourly labour costs in industry were €27.4 in the EU and €33.4 in the euro area. In services, they were €26.6 and €29.3, respectively.
In construction, hourly labour costs were €23.7 in the EU and €26.7 in the euro area. In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), they were €27.2 and €30.1, respectively.
The share of non-wage costs in total labour costs for the whole economy was 24.0% in the EU and 25.9% in the euro area. It ranged from 6.7% in Malta to 32.8% in France.
In 2017, compared to previous year, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in € rose by 2.3% in the EU and by 1.9% in the euro area.
Within the euro area,
- largest increases: Baltic Member States: Lithuania (+9.0%), Estonia (+7.4%) and Latvia (+7.0%).
- only decrease in Finland (-1.5%).
For Member States outside the euro area in 2017,
- largest increases: Romania (+17.1%) and Bulgaria (+12.0%).
Source: Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/